Holden To Go Big With Prado-fighting Large SUV Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Oct, 12 2015 | 15 Comments

Holden has made no secret of its plans to launch 24 new models between now and the end of the decade, but beyond the Astra, Insignia, Cascada and Barina Spark the company remains tight-lipped on what those other models will be.

However, Holden's Executive Director of Sales Peter Keley has confirmed that at least one of those products will be a full-sized SUV designed to take on the Toyota Prado in the large SUV segment.

"We missed out on a Prado and Kluger type vehicle," Mr Keley told TMR at the recent launch of the VF II Commodore.

"[However] our future product plans do include that kind of vehicle."

The 2016 Toyota Prado
The 2016 Toyota Prado

Asked which part of GM's global empire would supply such a car, Keley said that the options were open and not necessarily limited to GM's Korean factories, which currently supply the Captiva 5 and Captiva 7 SUVs.

"The good thing about Holden is that we're not locked in anywhere," he said. "we can take product from the US, Europe, anywhere."

While he would not be drawn on what that product would be, Mr Keley's comments narrow the field of contenders for this 'Prado-sized gap' in Holden's model line-up.

Bar the Colorado 7, GM's European and Asian product lines are without any full-size SUVs, leaving America as the likely source.

In the Land Of The Free, there's no shortage of supersized SUVs for Holden to choose from.

The eight-seater Chevrolet Traverse (AKA the GMC Acadia, pictured) is an option, though its transverse engine and monocoque chassis isn't quite comparable with the Prado's more rugged full-time 4x4 driveline and ladder-frame chassis.

But with plenty of seats for the brood plus the cargo capacity to match, the Traverse/Acadia would do well as a replacement for the Captiva 7 and potentially give the Toyota Kluger something to worry about.

A beefier option is the Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban, both of which dwarf the Prado and its bigger brother the 200-series LandCruiser.

However, being based on the Chevrolet Silverado "pickup" means there's a durable body-on-frame construction as well as a grunty 250kW 5.3 litre V8 under the bonnet. Diesels are not yet offered in either Tahoe or Suburban.

The slightly shorter Tahoe would provide Holden with a proper rival to the LandCruiser 200, provided a turbo diesel powertrain was offered - as well as right-hand drive.

The Suburban, a stretched version of the Tahoe, is no stranger to this country having been sold here as a Holden during the 1990s, but may simply be too big for Australian tastes.

That could, however, be a unique selling point for the monstrous SUV.

Keley didn't discuss a timeline, but new metal can't come soon enough for Holden's ageing SUV fleet.

Both the Captiva 5 and Captiva 7 have been around since 2006 (the latter was facelifted in 2011), with plenty of wrinkles now showing. The utilitarian Colorado 7, meanwhile, lacks the civility required to pry motorists away from the Prado.

MORE: Holden News and Reviews

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